Call for 2017 Schwartz Prize Nominations

June 26, 2017


Helen and Martin Schwartz Prize
For Public Humanities Programs


The Federation of State Humanities Councils is pleased to announce it is now accepting nominations for the annual Helen and Martin Schwartz Prize, made possible through an endowment established by former Federation board member Martin Schwartz and his wife Helen to recognize outstanding work in the public humanities.

Throughout its 35-year history, the Schwartz Prize nominations and winners have provided an invaluable snapshot of council priorities and achievements. The nominating statements have revealed the remarkable evolution of council work, as it expanded from grant-making to council-conducted programming to more sophisticated and strategic forms of public humanities work.

Nominations should showcase the best and most imaginative work councils conducted or supported in 2016. (Note: eligible work need not have started or ended in 2016, but could have begun prior to 2016, with the majority of work or the final event taking place in 2016.) Up to three Schwartz Prizes will be awarded by a panel of judges, based on descriptions submitted by nominating councils of exemplary programming that had a significant impact on citizens, institutions, organizations, or communities in their states.

Characteristics of programs or initiatives that could result in a prize-winning nomination include the following:

  • Involvement of new audiences
  • Unique or far-reaching collaborations
  • Capacity-building efforts
  • New uses of technology
  • Demonstrated sustainability
  • Innovative merge of public and academic programs/audiences

The nominating statement should include the following information:

  • The council’s aims in undertaking the project
  • The project’s public impact
  • The project’s financial structure

Nomination “packets” should include the following materials:

  • Nominating statement
  • Electronic image(s) and brief program description suitable for posting on the Federation’s website
  • Link to program information online (either council, partner, or program-specific webpage)
  • NOTE: Please submit the nominating statement and program description in one PDF. Image(s) can be sent separately, preferably via dropbox or a similar sharing site.

Nominating statements from the 2016 Schwartz Prize nominees and winners are available on the About Us: Schwartz Prize Page.

All 2017 Schwartz Prize nominations and questions should be submitted to Natalie Pak at

The deadline for nominations is Wednesday, August 23, 2017.